While some individuals decide to have brand new cars every few years, others have a different point of view—why buy a new car when it’s not broken? Sometimes, you might become sentimental about a specific vehicle and want to maintain its use as far as possible. Maybe you own a vintage or classic car that you still love to travel with. Older cars can be an ideal asset if they’re correctly taken care of.
Likewise, most drivers want their cars to live longer, to serve them extensively as much as possible. While the number of miles you drive can affect the lifespan of your vehicle, there are other care and maintenance steps that you can take to lessen the car’s wear and tear and maintain your car’s good condition.
Yet, the kind of maintenance an older car must have may differ from the maintenance of newer car models. The older the vehicle, the more extensive and expensive your maintenance can be. However, neglecting car care and maintenance can lead to undesired breakdowns, repairs, or worse, a crash. And so, keeping up with your older car’s maintenance can improve such a car’s lifespan, provide a smoother driving experience, and lessen the chance of costly issues.
Overall, know how to keep your older car running for more periods to come by applying these helpful care and maintenance tips.
1. Replace Catalytic Converter
A catalytic converter is placed amidst the muffler and exhaust manifold. It’s tasked with filtering out harmful gases (carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, and unburned hydrocarbons) a car generates into less toxic gases.
Know that almost all the issues with a catalytic converter are linked to an engine problem. It’s usually impacted by excess fuel entering the exhaust system because of improper air/fuel mixture, unideal engine timing, bad spark plugs, failed oxygen sensor, or other car problems where fuel departs the engine combustion chamber unburned. When this occurs, the catalytic converter can attain a very high temperature that can melt the catalytic converter’s interiors or break up the honeycomb material. As such, the catalytic converter can no longer function properly and must be replaced.
Overall, if you want to know the cost of replacing your catalytic converter, you can visit this page or other websites online.
2. Test Your Old Car’s Battery
Car batteries are vital for your old car to function, yet like everything else, it’ll fail in the end. You’ll notice this occurs when your old car won’t start, or the motor has a weak turnover.
When your battery powers down and it isn’t able to kick start your old car, it’s vital to know if it’s drained and needs to be recharged or if it’s too weak to hold a charge. Dead or low batteries sometimes have to be charged or boosted. Yet, they need to be replaced when they lose the capability to hold a charge.
As such, having proper battery check and testing is ideal to know what’s wrong with your battery. Here are the steps to adequate battery testing:
- Prevent yourself from driving the old car for many days. Then figure out where the battery is located
- Connect the battery tester
- Test voltage
- Test cold-cranking amps
- Perform cranking test
- Perform charging test
3. Replace The Cabin Air Filter
Few individuals know that many car passenger cabins have an air filter. This filter gets untidy after many years and must be exchanged for a cleaner one. You can have replacement cabin air filters that are more ideal than the typical ones found in new cars. Some car manufacturers offer paper filters as a common type of this filter. Still, obtaining carbon filters is recommended when you exchange your existing cabin air filter for a new one.
Replacing the cabin air filter is a bit tricky as some cars have many screws that need to be removed before getting into the filter. Yet, it’s a task that you can do on your own. You can search on Google or watch DIY videos on YouTube on how to replace the cabin air filter.
Overall, you can choose the proper replacement filter for your specific old car at any local auto parts shop. You can also search for the correct one for your old car on Amazon.
4. Fill Your Tank With High-Octane Gas Once A Year
Fill up your tank with high-octane gas at least once a year to clean out the gunk from the catalytic converter and pistons. It’s crucial to clean these two as the repair and replacement of these two car parts can be the most expensive.
Moreover, it helps the car to function cleanly and efficiently when you prevent these two from forming buildups. The reason why it works for cleaning buildups is that high-octane gas doesn’t burn hotter. Another reason is that higher octane types of gasoline often have better detergents and more additives that might be good for such cleaning.
Note that replacing the pistons or catalytic converter is still advisable if they’re damaged. Overall, if having dirt in the catalytic converter is the problem, know that filling your tank with high-octane gas has been effective for many car owners.
5. Maintain Your Old Car’s Brakes
Keeping your old car’s braking system in good condition will allow your old car to run for more years. As such, you must bleed the brakes for your old car with the right tools, a helpful friend, and a repair manual.
To check the brake, know that if there’s a clear, amber color in the fluid, it’s more likely that the braking system has just been rebuilt and well-maintained. Yet, if the fluid that flows from the brake is dark black and is full of rubber and rust bits, it’s ideal to prioritize having a complete brake overhaul.
Maintaining your braking system can be done independently, and it’s not that difficult for those with intermediate skills. Likewise, you must remember two things: remove the overheated fluid from the calipers and ensure nothing is wrong with the brakes.
Caring for and maintaining your old car is essential to keep it running for more years. There are different care and maintenance tips that you can follow, some of which are stated above. Overall, these tips will ensure a smooth driving experience and less costly repairs down the road.